Official Discussion issued by the National Hurricane Center

Don (AL052023) DATA RELEASED: 7/20/2023 3:00:00 AM UTC

Copy of official data

Tropical Storm Don Discussion Number  24
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL052023
300 AM GMT Thu Jul 20 2023

Don continues to maintain a compact area of deep convection, with 
cold cloud tops between -60 to -65C attempting to rotate 
cyclonically into the northern semicircle of the 
storm's circulation. An earlier ASCAT-B pass clipped Don's east 
side with a peak wind-retrieval of 39 kt, but this pass might 
have missed higher winds closer to the center. In fact, a Synthetic 
Aperture Radar (SAR) pass that became available after the prior
advisory suggests Don's radius of maximum wind has contracted to 
near 20 n mi with a peak value of 49 kt, but this derived wind 
may have been contaminated by ice-scattering noted in microwave 
imagery. The most recent subjective Dvorak intensity estimate was 
T3.0/45-kt from TAFB, and the most recent objective intensity 
estimate from SATCON was 46 kt. A blend of these various data 
sources supports increasing Don's intensity to 45 kt this advisory. 

There is still a window for Don to intensify more over the next 24 h 
while it remains over 25-26 C sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) and 
low shear helps ongoing convection moisten up the nearby environment 
in a compact area. Beyond that time, SSTs decrease markedly along 
Don's track, related to the storm crossing its own cold wake. In 
addition, both the GFS- and ECMWF-based SHIPS guidance show 
environmental mid-level relative humidity dropping below 40 percent, 
and Don's small core could become sensitive to any increase in 
shear, which could introduce drier air from the northeast. The most 
recent regional hurricane model simulations illustrate this possible 
scenario, with convection becoming sheared off to the southwest as 
dry air infiltrates the storm's core in 48-60 h. Thus, the NHC 
intensity forecast continues to show a peak intensity of 50 kt, with 
Don beginning to weaken after 48 h. This NHC forecast is near the 
latest ICVN and HCCA consensus aids. The hurricane-regional guidance 
also suggests Don should become devoid of convection when it moves 
north of the Gulf Stream by 96 h, and the latest forecast now shows 
the system becoming post-tropical at that time.  

The tropical storm continues to move westward tonight, estimated at 
270/5 kt. Don should soon begin to gain latitude again as a 
prominent mid-level ridge becomes centered to its northeast. As 
mentioned in the previous discussion, the model trends have been 
for this blocking ridge to be slow to move completely out of Don's 
way, and the storm is forecast to only slowly recurve into the 
higher latitudes as a result. The track guidance this cycle has 
shifted a bit westward compared to the previous forecast, notably 
with the 18z ECMWF coming in farther west. The NHC track forecast 
has also been shifted a little westward, but not as far west as the 
TVCN and HCCA consensus aids, and further adjustments may be 
necessary in subsequent advisories.


INIT  20/0300Z 33.9N  40.9W   45 KT  50 MPH
12H  20/1200Z 34.0N  42.0W   50 KT  60 MPH
24H  21/0000Z 34.5N  43.6W   50 KT  60 MPH
36H  21/1200Z 35.3N  45.4W   50 KT  60 MPH
48H  22/0000Z 36.6N  47.1W   50 KT  60 MPH
60H  22/1200Z 38.3N  48.6W   45 KT  50 MPH
72H  23/0000Z 40.2N  49.3W   45 KT  50 MPH
96H  24/0000Z 43.9N  47.8W   40 KT  45 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
120H  25/0000Z 45.6N  42.5W   35 KT  40 MPH...POST-TROPICAL

Forecaster Papin